“Create a poster highlighting the values we live by at ThinkOn”
This was my first task as part of the interview process for the role of Marketing Intern at this company I knew almost nothing about, in an industry I knew almost nothing about. Neither of those things can be said one month later.
The initial task seemed a little bit mundane as I did not actually believe a company would actually live by their values the way ThinkOn does. So, let’s discuss my first month in the context of these values that make ThinkOn the special company they are.
Trust the Team
The amount of openness and care for each other’s work I have seen in this company is unparalleled. Team building events and exercises seem to just be a natural extension of the culture from 9 to 5. Everyone was welcoming and caring about what I was doing and even giving feedback along the way, not because they wanted to be critical but because they care about each other’s work and just want everyone’s work to be at the highest quality. This made my first month much easier than I thought it would be.
Accept a Challenge, Always Follow Your Instinct
As a technology company, ThinkOn has a solid foundation when it comes to teams of engineers, operations, software development, etc. but their marketing department is one of the smallest ones. I was hired to assist with all marketing operations/graphic design and he patiently trained me from the ground up and taught me everything I know about cloud computing and all of the services we offer. He shows trust in me every day by allowing me to follow my instinct when it comes to designs (which is my main purpose here) and allows me to have the creativity to make collateral. He is one of many people that make this company an amazing one to be at.
Be Humble, Always Show Gratitude
Being an intern coming into this position, I was not sure how much of an impact what I was doing would have in the grand scheme of the company. However; within weeks, I was creating collateral that would be seen by many people as well as presentations displayed on a webinar and YouTube channels of large companies. At some points throughout the process of designing, people would come by and give compliments and I would often say “we’re just trying to represent the company in the best way possible”. Designs are a process and often require lots of edits and improvements so in no way is anything I have done here thus far my accomplishment but rather our accomplishment. Whether it is helping create diagrams, creating technical content or graphics edit, the team creates these things together, one way or another.
Own the Problem & Over-Communicate
Error is to human and that is something that cannot be avoided. However; the way I have been able to handle problems stems from the inspiration of how others here do the same. With a large screen hovering over the support department with technical issues that come in, I have witnessed first-hand that as soon as something pops up on that screen, someone is making sure they take care of the issue. I make sure I put the same amount of effort into owning problems on a daily basis. That is the ThinkOn way.
Seek Improvement Every Day
As a part of wanting to do the best job possible, everyone seems to love learning new things and upgrading their existing knowledge areas. Anyone would sit in this environment and take motivation from that. After about 2 weeks of working here, there was a point of discouragement where I was getting good amounts of constructive edits/criticisms about things I had done and, though they were minor things, they were things I probably should have seen upon a first or second glance. Nevertheless, instead of taking it negatively, steps were made to improve and be more self-critical as everyone in this company is. To them, almost perfect is not good enough and that is a really healthy environment to be working in.
WHY SO SERIOUS?
At the end of the day, work is work and the rest of life is to be lived happily and enjoyed with family and friends. I sincerely see that these employees view each other in ways above “colleagues” and they treat each other with respect and care. Whether it is for a team project or a team dinner, they go about it with the same attitude along the lines of realizing that better work gets done when less pressure and stress is circling over the issue.
Therefore, as an intern, I have 3 months and 3 weeks left here but I definitely will NOT be counting down the days. Thank you ThinkOn for providing such an awesome place to work.